In the few days since the World Series was wrapped up by the Red Sox, I've seen more strange baseball headlines than I ever have in such a short span. Clearly, I had to give my thoughts on them. Some are not so weird, but still deserved to be mentioned because of their significance.
- It starts with Alex Rodriguez's announcement that he would opt out of the final three years of his contract. That was not surprising in itself, but the timing was. He, or rather his agent, Scott Boras, notified the Yankees sometime during Game 4 of the World Series so that the FOX announcers reported the news during the eighth inning. Sports analysts and writers everywhere piled on him for doing it then, and upon reading their points, I agree. It was a selfish thing for A-Rod to do, but I suppose that's nothing new for someone who is making $25 million each year.
- Joe Girardi was then officially introduced as the Yankees' new manager. Isn't he only like 43 years old? That wasn't a problem when he was managing the baby fish down in Florida, but don't you think some of the older guys won't respect him quite as much because they played at the same time as him? He later chose the number 27 for his jersey, as in I will get the Yankees their 27th championship. I hope not.
- Joe Torre was subsquently hired as the Dodgers' manager, replacing Grady Little. It will be interesting to see how Torre fares away from the Yankees.
Since he will be a free agent, Curt Schilling issued a list of thirteen teams he would be willing to sign with only a day after the World Series ended. He said he is just looking for a one-year deal. To no surprise the Twins weren't on the list (not that they'd be at all interested anyways) and neither were the Yankees.
- The Tigers, who quickly got better by trading for Edgar Renteria, quickly got worse. Joel Zumaya may be out until midseason or more after injuring himself trying to remove items from his father's attic. The house is in California, just a few miles from the rampant fires burning right now, and Zumaya went to help his father, who had a broken leg, save some things. Instead, a box fell on his shoulder and he required surgery on it.
- Barry Bonds has decided that, although it doesn't matter to the Hall of Fame, it makes a difference to him whether or not his 756th home run ball is branded with an asterisk. He said he will not be associated with the Hall of Fame if it is displayed, including not attending his induction ceremony. Sounds good to me: an asterisked ball and no Barry Bonds. I don't want to see him there anyways. Bonds said, "You cannot give people the freedom, the right to alter history. You can't do it. There's no such thing as an asterisk in baseball." Yes there is, Barry- you put it there.
- And the funniest headline in a long time: the Toledo Mud Hens, a minor league affiliate of Detroit, have offered Alex Rodriguez a contract in response to a quip made by Hank Steinbrenner. In the contract, he would receive bonuses for hitting 75 home runs in a season or leading the team to ten straight league titles. But they already have the league MVP playing third base, so they asked in the letter, "Would your client be willing to play a different position?" I'm putting my money on him accepting and playing left field.